Ministry to Children (MtC): Please tell our readers a little about yourself and your ministry.
Ken Ham (Ken): I like to call myself “a missionary from Australia to America” – particularly to the American church, calling it back to the authority of the Word of God beginning in Genesis.
I left a position as a science teacher in Queensland in 1979 to commit myself full-time to spreading the message of creation, biblical authority, and the gospel after being engaged in part-time creation speaking for three years.
Even when our ministry was operating out of our home in Australia, we had a burden, but it was one that took more than 25 years to accomplish. I remember praying with a friend of mine about building a Creation Museum. Little did we know then that our burden would be transported across the Pacific Ocean and eventually realized in America in 2007.
Our family moved to the United States in 1987 after I had already had many speaking engagements there, and in 1994, we founded Answers in Genesis. AiG is an apologetics ministry dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively in today’s very secularized culture. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, because it is the most-attacked book of the Bible in this era of history.
MtC: How did you come to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Ken: I grew up in Australia, which is a pagan country with very few Christians. I praise the Lord that I grew up in a Christian home with a mother and father who stood on the Word of God. Liberal theology was already rampant in the church in those days, and my father taught me to recognize compromise and liberal theology miles away. He may not have known the word “apologetics,” and he may not have had all the answers, but he didn’t question God’s Word.
My father was a public school teacher, and he was transferred all over the state of Queensland, to areas where there were very few churches. So my parents would start Sunday schools. Soon our home would become well-known as a stopping-off point for missionaries. My parents also connected with the Open Air Campaigners, a group that goes everywhere, including holding open-air meetings, to share the gospel with people who aren’t Christians.
At one of the Open Air meetings, when I was 10, the Open Air Campaigner gave a challenge to us: to be a missionary to the Lord. I came forward and said I wanted to be a missionary for the Lord, a missionary like my father.
MtC: You are most well-known for Answers in Genesis, what led to your starting this ministry?
Ken: In 1974, a friend at our church in Australia — someone I knew who was searching for answers to questions about evolution and millions of years — told me about a book that had been published in America. It was called “The Genesis Flood,” by Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. John Whitcomb, and it would later be recognized even by the famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard as “the founding document of the creationist movement.”
In my search for this book, I went to the only Christian bookstore I knew of in the city of Brisbane and asked the manager if he had heard of “The Genesis Flood” … and if he carried it. He did! I found out later that the bookstore’s owner —who is now with the Lord — had a real burden to ensure this book was in his store. The answers in this book thrilled my soul. In fact, the Lord burdened me intensely to obtain whatever creation/Flood books I could from around the world — and then to tell as many people as I could about these answers.
To cut a long story short, reading “The Genesis Flood” in the 1970s was the beginning of a creation ministry that started in our home and then spread around the world. I had the awesome privilege of working for Dr. Morris for seven years at the Institute for Creation Research in California, before three of us (Mark Looy, Mike Zovath, and I) founded the Answers in Genesis ministry here in the Cincinnati area.